Chickpea & Cauliflower Tomato Stew

A hearty & healthy vegetable minestrone stew topped with kale pesto. Perfect for cold winter nights or make ahead lunches. Vegan and gluten free.

Chickpea & Cauliflower Minestrone, vegan & gluten free

We’re en route to snowy Chicago today and I’m trying to think warm thoughts. Yes, I grew up there, but I’m such a baby about winter. Scraping car windows, not being able feel my fingers & toes – I did it for years & it’s just not my thing.

BUT I’m excited to spend a little time with my family, eat some good food, and probably cook a little. On the menu, obviously, will be warm food like this hot & hearty vegetable-packed soup.

Chickpea & Cauliflower Minestrone, vegan & gluten free

This is my take on minestrone although it’s a little less than traditional – it’s in between a soup and a stew, and it’s a little heavier on the vegetables and lighter on the noodles. It’s packed with good things like cauliflower, kale (and kale stems!). It’s especially good with the hemp seed & kale pesto I posted yesterday.

Chickpea & Cauliflower Minestrone, vegan & gluten free

Sending warm soupy vibes!

4.9 from 14 reviews

Chickpea & Cauliflower Tomato Stew

Serves: serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 4 kale leaves, stems chopped, leaves torn
  • 2 to 3 cups small cauliflower pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine (or a splash of balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • bundle of fresh thyme & rosemary (about 4 sprigs each)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I like the Whole Foods brand)
  • 4-6 oz. gluten free fusilli, elbow or shell pasta
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Serve with:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the kale stems, cauliflower, and garlic. Season with more salt and pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Add the wine, stir, then add the tomatoes. Simmer for 8 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs, broth, pasta and chickpeas and another few pinches of salt. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the pesto.
  5. Season the soup to taste. Before serving, stir in the kale until wilted.
  6. Serve soup with pesto and chopped parsley, if using, on the side.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Carrie

    My partner and I are obsessed with this soup. Packed full of veg and super flavorful. This is a a regular go-to weeknight dinner for us!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you both loved it so much!

  2. Angela L.

    Love this! I substituted Parmesan for nutritional yeast, used chickpea pasta and added pigeon peas! It turned out delish! Will making it again for sure!!

  3. Emily Dunlap

    Love it. One of favorites now. Can this be frozen and reheated? I’d like to make a big batch and portion it out. To have for lunches or ad hoc dinners. So wondered if it worked freezing.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Emily, so glad to hear! I like freezing it, the pasta gets softer as any soup with noodles would but that doesn’t personally bother me.

  4. Carly

    I made this and it was a major success! Cooking for second time today

  5. Alyson Hajzus

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was delish! I used Trader Joe’s red lentil noodles and they worked excellent. I also added a little extra wine 😉 YUM

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Alyson, I’m so glad you liked it! I’ll have to give those noodles a try!

  6. Mackenzie D

    Ok.. seriously — this recipe was a HOME. RUN. I never have high hopes for soups and stews as they’re not always my fave… but wow. This blew me and my family away. My dad had three helpings.. we could barely restrain ourselves from licking the pot clean! Thanks for such a great recipe. The kale pesto on tops just brings everything together in such a harmonious way 🙂

  7. Tracey

    I just made this and it’s really tasty! I think I used too much pasta though. How many cups would elbows be? Also what is the serving size? I see it says serves 4 but looks like it made a lot!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.